The beautiful and majestic Childs Glacier surges out the Chugach Mountains in the heart of the southern outflow of the powerful 290 mile long Copper River. Long ago, this tongue of ice met with Miles Glacier to the east and formed one massive ice cap filling the valley delta. Through this Ice Age, the Copper River has constantly carved and undercut the great glaciers, moving the ice piece-by-piece to the Gulf of Alaska. Over countless centuries of natural erosion, the huge expanse of the Copper River Delta was born below this outflow, fanning out about 40 miles across the North Gulf Coast.
Today, Childs is eight miles long and its "glacier blue" terminus drops into the Copper River as gravity moves the large mass forward. Large ice calves occasionally throw huge tsunami waves onto the opposite shore and have even been powerful enough to push huge waves upriver against the current. During the summer, these tsunamis will leave salmon stranded on the rocky shoreline and Coastal Brown Bears have learned they can often eat well after a thunderous calving.
It is one of the most outstanding natural wonders to experience across Alaska.
Top Left and Lower Right: Daytime and sunrise images
The other three are moonlight/nighttime images.
All images © Dave Parkhurst www.TheAlaskaCollection.com